February 1, 2024

Two Ownership Culture Ideas You Can Borrow

Executive Director

At the NCEO, we talk with a lot of people from a lot of creative companies. Here are two of the thought-provoking ideas we’ve heard in the last few weeks. Please borrow and adapt these ideas – and let us know what you do with them!

One company that participates in the Innovative Communications Coalition is trying to shift the words people habitually use when referring to their colleagues. “Employee” is no longer the right word, because they want everyone to think of themselves and all their colleagues as “employee-owners.” The company turned the “rebranding” process into a game by setting up a “swear jar” – whenever someone refers to a colleague as an employee, they put a dollar into a virtual fund and the company donates all of that money to charity.

Another company intentionally builds an ownership culture by creating rituals. A ritual is more than a tradition – it’s an activity that’s designed to do more than convey information or provide entertainment. A ritual is a shared activity that signifies a common bond among people, like the employee-owners at your company. Rituals can be simple, like awarding a vest for work anniversaries or the board chair leading a group of employee-owners to a charitable or volunteer activity.